The Passion Translation
The Apostle Paul Goes to Macedonia and Greece
20 When the uproar finally died down, Paul gathered the believers and encouraged their hearts. He kissed them,[a] said good-bye, and left for Macedonia. 2 At every place he passed through, he brought words of great comfort and encouragement to the believers. Then he went on to Greece 3 and stayed there for three months.
Just as Paul was about to sail for Syria, he learned of a plot against him by the Jews, so he decided to return by going through Macedonia. 4 Seven men accompanied him as far as western Turkey. They were Sopater,[b] son of Pyrrhus[c] from Berea, Aristarchus[d] and Secundus[e] from Thessalonica, Gaius[f] from Derbe, and Timothy,[g] Tychicus,[h] and Trophimus[i] from western Turkey. 5 These men went ahead and were waiting for us at Troas.[j]
6 As soon as all of the Passover celebrations were over,[k] we sailed from Philippi. After five days we joined the others in Troas, where we stayed another week.[l] 7 On Sunday we gathered to take communion[m] and to hear Paul preach. Because he was planning to leave the next day, he continued speaking until past midnight. 8 Many flickering lamps burned in the upstairs chamber where we were meeting. 9 Sitting in an open window listening was a young man named Eutychus.[n] As Paul’s sermon dragged on, Eutychus became drowsy and fell into a deep slumber. Sound asleep, he fell three stories to his death below.[o]
10 Paul went downstairs, bent over the boy, and embraced him. Taking him in his arms, he said to all the people gathered, “Stop your worrying. He’s come back to life!”[p]
11 Paul went back upstairs, served communion, and ate a meal with them. Then he picked back up where he left off and taught until dawn.[q] 12 Filled with enormous joy, they took the boy home alive and everyone was encouraged.[r]
Paul’s Voyage to Miletus
13 Continuing our journey, we made our way to the ship and sailed for Assos.[s] Paul had previously arranged to meet us there as he traveled overland by foot. 14 So he rejoined our team there and we took him aboard and sailed for Mitylene.[t] 15 The next day we crossed over to Chios,[u] and the following day we arrived at the island of Samos.[v] We stayed at Trogyllium,[w] and on the day after that we reached Miletus.[x] 16 Paul was in a hurry to arrive in Jerusalem, hoping to make it in time for the Feast of Pentecost, so he decided to bypass Ephesus and not spend any time in that region.[y] 17 However, from Miletus Paul had sent a message to the elders of the church[z] in Ephesus and asked them to come meet with him.
18 When they arrived, he said to them, “All of you know how I’ve lived and conducted myself while I was with you. From the first day I set foot in western Turkey 19 I’ve operated in God’s miracle power[aa] with great humility and served you[ab] with many tears. I’ve endured numerous ordeals because of the plots of the Jews. 20 You know how I’ve taught you in public meetings and in your homes, and that I’ve not held anything back from you that would help you grow. 21 I urged both Jews and non-Jews to turn from sin to God and to have faith in our Lord Jesus. 22 And now I am being compelled by the Holy Spirit[ac] to go to Jerusalem, without really knowing what will happen to me there. 23 Yet I know that the Holy Spirit warns me[ad] in town after town, saying, ‘Chains and afflictions are prepared for you.’
24 “But whether I live or die is not important, for I don’t esteem my life as indispensable.[ae] It’s more important for me to fulfill my destiny and to finish the ministry my Lord Jesus has assigned to me, which is to faithfully preach the wonderful news of God’s grace. 25 I’ve been a part of your lives and shared with you many times the message of God’s kingdom realm. But now I leave you, and you will not see my face again. 26 If any of you should be lost, I will not be blamed, for my conscience is clean, 27 because I’ve taught you everything I could about God’s eternal plan and I’ve held nothing back. 28 So guard your hearts. Be true shepherds[af] over all the flock and feed them well. Remember, it was the Holy Spirit who appointed you to guard and oversee[ag] the churches that belong to Jesus, the Anointed One,[ah] which he purchased and established by his own blood.
29 “I know that after I leave, imposters who have no loyalty to the flock[ai] will come among you like savage wolves. 30 Even some from among your very own ranks will rise up, twisting the truth[aj] to seduce people into following them instead of Jesus. 31 So be alert and discerning. Remember that for three years, night and day, I’ve never stopped warning each of you, pouring out my heart to you with tears.
32 “And so now, I entrust you into God’s hands and the message of his grace,[ak] which is all that you need to become strong.[al] All of God’s blessings are imparted through the message of his grace, which he provides as the spiritual inheritance given to all of his holy ones.[am]
33 “I haven’t been after your money or any of your possessions.[an] 34 You all know that I’ve worked with my hands to meet my own needs and the needs of those who’ve served with me. 35 I’ve left you an example of how you should serve and take care of those who are weak.[ao] For we must always cherish the words of our Lord Jesus, who taught, ‘Giving brings a far greater blessing than receiving.’”[ap]
36 After Paul finished speaking, he knelt down and prayed with them. 37 Then they all cried with great weeping as one after another hugged Paul and kissed him. 38 What broke their hearts the most were his words “You will not see my face again.”
Then they tearfully accompanied Paul back to the ship.
- Acts 20:1 As translated from the Aramaic.
- Acts 20:4 Sopater, or Sosipater, is mentioned in Rom. 16:21 as one of Paul’s relatives. His name means “his father’s savior.”
- Acts 20:4 Or “son of fiery red flames.” This phrase is not found in the Aramaic.
- Acts 20:4 See the third footnote on 19:29.
- Acts 20:4 Secundus means “fortunate.”
- Acts 20:4 Many believe this is the same Gaius mentioned in 19:29. See the second footnote on 19:29.
- Acts 20:4 The Aramaic is “Timothy of Lystra.” See introductions to 1 and 2 Timothy.
- Acts 20:4 It is likely that Tychicus was a native of Ephesus since he carried the letter Paul wrote to them as well as the letter to Colossae. See Eph. 6:21; Col. 4:7. He is also mentioned in 2 Tim. 4:12 and Titus 3:12. His name means “child of fortune.”
- Acts 20:4 Trophimus was not a Jew. He is mentioned in Acts 21:29. His name means “nutritious.”
- Acts 20:5 Notice “us,” which implies Luke has now rejoined the missionary team.
- Acts 20:6 Or “the Days of Unleavened Bread.” This holiday was observed during the week immediately following Passover and was wrapped into the Passover celebration.
- Acts 20:6 This is when the events took place mentioned by Paul in 2 Cor. 2:12-13.
- Acts 20:7 The Aramaic is “breaking pieces of the Eucharist.”
- Acts 20:9 Or “a preteen named Eutychus,” which means “fortunate” or “lucky.”
- Acts 20:9 There is no doubt that “Lucky” died because of his fall. The Greek word nekros can only mean that he was lifeless. This boy becomes a picture of some believers today who, because they view themselves as “well off,” sit carelessly where they shouldn’t, growing drowsy, falling asleep, and enduring a disastrous fall. But God has grace and power to raise even the foolish ones back to life.
- Acts 20:10 Or “His soul is in him.” Paul raised him from the dead.
- Acts 20:11 The Aramaic adds “by land” (on foot).
- Acts 20:12 The Greek is “comforted,” while the Aramaic is “overjoyed.” The translation merges both concepts.
- Acts 20:13 A coastal city in far western Turkey. Assos means “approaching.”
- Acts 20:14 A city on the Greek island of Lesbos.
- Acts 20:15 A Greek island in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey.
- Acts 20:15 A Greek island in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey.
- Acts 20:15 As translated from the Aramaic and some Greek manuscripts. Most Greek manuscripts do not have this clause.
- Acts 20:15 An ancient seaport of far western Turkey.
- Acts 20:16 Or “waste any time in the province of Asia [Minor].”
- Acts 20:17 These elders would be equivalent to pastors, leaders of the church.
- Acts 20:19 As translated in the Aramaic, which is literally “I’ve performed God’s miracles.” The Greek is “I’ve served the Lord.”
- Acts 20:19 Some manuscripts add, “for more than three years.” See also 1 Thess. 2:10-12.
- Acts 20:22 Or “shackled by the Holy Spirit.”
- Acts 20:23 This warning from the Holy Spirit could have come through prophecies, dreams, visions, or the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking within him.
- Acts 20:24 Or “I do not consider my life worth a single word.” That is, Paul viewed his life as not worth mentioning. We don’t need to see our lives as precious in our own eyes, for they are precious in the eyes of our Lord Jesus, and that must be enough.
- Acts 20:28 Or “pastors.”
- Acts 20:28 The Greek uses the word overseers or guardians. This is the sacred duty of his leaders in the church.
- Acts 20:28 As translated from some Greek and Aramaic texts. Jesus is implied, for the Aramaic is simply “the Anointed One.” Some Greek manuscripts and the Western Peshitta read “the church of God.”
- Acts 20:29 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “they won’t spare the flock.”
- Acts 20:30 Or “speaking crooked things.”
- Acts 20:32 The Aramaic is “the manifestation of grace.”
- Acts 20:32 Or “to build you up,” a Greek word taken from the root word for “architect.”
- Acts 20:32 Or “sanctified”; that is, those who are devoted to holiness.
- Acts 20:33 Or “silver, gold, or fine apparel.”
- Acts 20:35 Or “minister to the sick.”
- Acts 20:35 The Aramaic is an idiom that speaks of extravagant generosity. “Blessed are those who try to give more than they’ve been given.”